Anyway, I started to say on Facebook that statistics can help to turn us away from the fantasy that 'liberalizing' the Church's teaching makes it relevant to people.
I am just finishing up a book that I will review in a upcoming issue of The Catholic Review of Books called What Americans Really Believe by Rodney Stark (Baylor U P, 2008). It's a really good book. Its essential thesis is that things are not what you might think in a number of ways, the most surprising is that making things what the typical modern person wants them to be has the opposite effect on a denomination's numbers: people run from that church. It might not be surprising, but it does surprise people. If people can't take a church seriously as a reflection of the unchanging God, they will want none of it. Debate it as much as you like, the stats that Stark presents constitute a pretty strong argument.
People who want to live in their objectively sinful state put it before the Church's teaching. And the teachings are hard, no doubt, for many people. I mean, my goodness: I am married to the most beautiful woman and we practice NFP! I know what I am saying here! lol.
This is not to say that I don't know 'nice' people in irregular marriages. sure, they are nice, but this doesn't mean that they put God and the Church first.
1. On Sunday, did they go to the LifeChain or to a Breast Cancer run?
2. Did they even go to mass or did they go to hockey, ballet, and/or swimming?
3. Did they give their extra money to the Church or to Catholic groups such as Mission of the Redeemer Ministries or did they give it to cancer research, and/or did they go on an objectively speaking unjustifiable second vacation this year?
4. Did they support Catholic journalism with a subscription to the National Catholic Register or did they waste their time imbibing liberal propaganda, vis a vis, The Huffington Post?
5. What did they read good Catholic literature or Fifty Shades of Loneliness and Desperation?
6. Did this 'new' family actually pray?
7. Did this 'new' family actually study the Bible and or the Catechism?
8. What are the kids' names? Crystal or Bernadette, Mark or Drake?
9. Do they celebrate any of the "lesser feasts," such as their saints' name days, the Feast of St. Nicholas, Immaculate Conception, Feast of St. Joseph?
10. Did they vote Catholicly - did they vote for the 'poor person guy' liberal or did they vote for the pro-life guy?
11. Have they done anything to dis-ingratiate someone because of their Catholicism? - i.e. spoken out against euthanasia, contraception, homosexualism, and spoken up for the unborn, freedom in education, including the rights of Catholic education; have they defended priests against jokes about pedophilia?
12. Are confirmations and first communions photo-ops or important spiritual events in the family?
13. Did their children, or will their children, marry Catholics?
Frankly, this list says it all. With all the problems the Church has being itself today, trying to 'win' these people back by praising their 'authenticity' and making up a whole bunch of falsehoods about their actual spiritual lives will have the same result in the Catholic Church that it had in the mainline Protestant Churches. Absolute abandonment.
|This was too funny to pass up.|
I love the blond, beautiful, wealthy family in the Kasper video. See it here. Oh, Germans, you just don't get it, do you?